Too many with sense of mission

Home > Think English > Bilingual News

print dictionary print

Too many with sense of mission


Filmmaker Kim Jho Gwang-soo and his partner, Kim Seung-hwan, had a public ceremony to exchange vows for the first time as a gay couple in Korea. Foreign media highlighted it as a “symbolic wedding in the conservative Asian country.” Some may find it a mere spectacle, while others consider it a meaningful move for the rights of the homosexual minority.

Yet, there are people who see this as a sign of the end of the world. It is up to you how you perceive it, but some Christians attempted to physically stop the wedding by throwing waste at the couple. If they think they have a right to toss waste at someone’s event, they effectively acknowledge that their own gatherings could suffer such a shameful act.

Perhaps I may look easygoing, or maybe it’s my imagination, but I feel that I am often approached by strangers on the street. Ladies handing out fliers always pick me out of a crowd, and I am asked to give directions frequently.

Those who are in spiritual training always see through my extraordinary nature. Religious believers call me a lost sheep. Beggars in the subway never skip me when handing out a piece of paper narrating their life stories. Street protesters follow me to give me a flier explaining what the rally is about.

Because of the agricultural heritage of families and relatives living together closely, Koreans tend to be less reluctant about physical intervention compared to Western cultures. But no means no. Three months ago, a woman in her 50s was booked at Yongsan Station for assault. She was frustrated when Christian believers at a nearby church visited her home every day for a year.

That day, three such believers lured her into opening the door, claiming that they were collecting surveys. They forcibly gave her a Bible and missionary videos and filmed the scene with a cell phone. She claimed that she was a Christian, but they did not back off. When she pushed away one of the church members, they immediately called the police. Who is at fault here?

Recently, a “missionary refusal card” was seen spreading on the Seoul National University campus, urging students to refuse missionary activities. The card states that freedom of religion and thought should be respected.

But I am concerned that this card comes from an atheist group.

When some groups approach people to spread a religion, they are discouraging people not to believe. It is quite a complicated situation. The streets of Korea have too many people armed with an overflowing sense of mission.

*The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.


Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)